Construction noise disrupts classes

Construction of the 22nd Street business school has prompted faculty and students in adjacent Funger and Madison halls to complain about noise.

“Banging and rattling, windows, floors and doors shaking – it started this morning at 6 a.m.,” Medora Shehan, a Madison third-floor resident, said Tuesday.

Classes in Funger have been disrupted by loud construction noise since the beginning of the year, students and professors said.

“It’s been terrible,” said David Silverman, professor of early American studies, who teaches a class in one of the academic building’s first-floor, 300-person lecture halls. “Some days are better than others, but sometimes I feel like a wrecking ball is going to come crashing through the walls.”

Officials said four official complaints have been submitted to the University; they urge professors to voice complaints in person if construction noise is bothersome.

Craig Linebaugh, associate vice president for planning and special projects, said not much can be done besides urging professors to utilize microphones and report any complaints.

“Because of the size of the classes scheduled in Funger Hall and the heavy scheduling of the two large classrooms in 1957 E St., there are no classrooms to which the classes can be moved,” Linebaugh said. “The alternatives are to either schedule the classes later in the evening and on weekends or to cancel them.”

Construction crews have also made efforts to “mitigate the impact of any construction noise, particularly during peak class times,” he said

“Last week, time-sensitive work needed to be done that involved a jack hammer … work was suspended for approximately an hour and a half to accommodate a request from a faculty member,” he said.

He added that students and faculty can expect noise to continue throughout the remainder of the semester. Construction of the business school will be completed by November 2005, officials told The Hatchet earlier this year.

Most students and professors said they understand that the noise is inevitable with construction right next door.

“The shortage of seats here at the University is a bigger issue and the University is doing what they need to do to fix the problem,” Silverman said. “We need to deal with the inconvenience.”

“It’s not like they can just stop construction,” said Madison Hall Community Facilitator Loryn Cozzi. “So there is only so much they can do in the first place and they are trying to do their best.”

Last week, Madison CFs hosted a meeting for students to voice their complaints about the noise and speak with construction directors. No more than fifteen of 150 residents attended the meeting.

“They said in about a week it would be internal noise and it should be less, but the dumpsters are still right outside our window and that noise will be there for a while,” said Shehan, who participated in the discussion. “I can’t expect them not to do the construction, it’s not their fault. I’m mad at the situation but there is nothing I can do about it, so I guess I understand the University’s perspective.”

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